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 21 
 on: November 29, 2018, 06:30:54 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Alfred Hendrickson
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

Maybe this is a question for another thread, but why would Tom Crouch say something that was obviously untrue?

 22 
 on: November 29, 2018, 04:01:09 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Bill Mangus
According to my handy-dandy moon phase calculator, the waning moon was about 20% full on 7 Nov 39. We don't know what evenings they may have been shooting the stars down by the Seven Site but, depending on cloud cover, the party would have had at least some natural light to augment the flashlights they presumably carried. Still pretty dark though to go wandering around in strange territory. Easy to not notice bones, etc in the underbrush.

 23 
 on: November 29, 2018, 03:13:21 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,

Therein lies a tale.  Way back when we were first considering whether the Nikumaroro hypothesis was worth testing, I discussed it with my old friend Tom Crouch at NASM.  He said, "As I recall there was a Smithsonian ichthyologist (fish guy) named Schultz on a US Navy expedition that surveyed those islands back before the war.  I think he wrote a paper.  It should in the Castle (Smithsonian headquarters building).  I'll be happy to check it out for you."

I thanked him profusely.
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

 24 
 on: November 29, 2018, 01:33:21 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Matt Revington
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,
https://siarchives.si.edu/collections/fbr_item_modsi5773

Schultz, Leonard Peter, part 6 : log for navy surveying expedition, USS Bushnell, Phoenix Island, 1939
"The Bushnell left San Diego on 1 April 1939 for Hawaii and then on to the Phoenix Islands [Phoenix Group] and other islands of the Pacific Ocean. Localities include Canton Island [Kanton], Enderbury Island [Enderbury Atoll], Hull Island [Oronoa], McKean Island [McKean Atoll; McKean Island], Swains Island, Rose Island, Tutuila Island [Tutuila], and others. Schultz records travel and field research activities, collections made, descriptions of specimens, natural history observations, life on the ship, and expenses. Several collections were made using poison at reefs. Pasted into the volume are colored sketches of fish, field maps, correspondence, tickets, and other documents relating to field work and travels."

Gardner Island is not  mentioned in the abstract but we know the Bushnell went there so it must be among the "and others"

 25 
 on: November 29, 2018, 08:26:27 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Interesting hypothesis.  I think we're making progress. Is there evidence that the Bushnell surveyors were on the island overnight?  Yep.  See pages 14 and 15 in the Bushnell Report (https://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/0/0a/Bushnell_Part_2.pdf)

Bushnell arrived at Gardner early on the afternoon of November 4, 1939.  The next day they got all their gear and personnel ashore. Bushnell then left to go survey Carondelet Reef. It looks like the party left on Gardner consisted of 2 hydrographic engineers, 2 officers, and 21 men.  They also recruited the 16 native laborers to help.  The first job was to erect the three steel towers which are variously described as being 100, 90 or 80 feet tall. They mapped the outline of the island by taking azimuth readings from observation points along the shoreline to the towers, but first they had to have good lat/long coordinates for each of the observation points.  That had to be done at night when they could see the stars (see the highlighted section on Azimuth Readings).  This was done by the two hydrographic engineers accompanied by one man. They appear to have recorded the lat/long for all the sites in one "evening."  That's a big job that must have taken all night and it would involve at least one crossing from the ocean side to the lagoon side.  If that crossing took place near the Seven Site because the ocean-front vegetation was thinnest there, it would be easy to miss the skull and skeleton in the dark.  It they then took the sextant out of its box to make a celestial observation from the lagoon shore it would be easy to misplace the box in the dark.  No time to search for it.  Gotta keep moving.

I like it. No overnight camping. No campfire. No clambake. No discarded shoe. No lost sextant. Just a box misplaced in the dark with the inverting eyepiece still secured.
The April 1940 the work party finds the box and one of the laborers rips out the inverting eyepiece, removes the lens, but later throws it away.  They find the skull and bury it.  The box is of no interest and they live it there.

The water cask is a possibility, but what about the Benedictine bottle?  It must have been somewhere near the box or the skull.  Either the Bushnell boys left it there (they misplaced the sextant box because they were drunk?) or the castaway had it and it rolled own the hill like the skull.  FWIW, Kilts said the "cognac bottle" had "fresh water in it for drinking."  The surveyors certainly didn't need to carry drinking water in Benedictine bottle and we have good archaeological evidence that the castaway had a system for collecting, and boiling drinking water. It's logical they she also had some means of storing purified water.



 26 
 on: November 29, 2018, 05:28:51 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Randy Jacobson
An interesting thread, and an important clue provided that the Sextant Box was from the Bushnell.  Which leads me to an alternative hypothesis to explain some of the "7" site findings.

Suppose the Bushnell survey party on that part of the island did not leave the island every late afternoon to go back aboard ship.  Because this particular crew was on the far side of the island, they stayed overnight at least one night near the 7 site.  They knew this ahead of time, and brought a cask of water (chain and stopper), a Benedictine bottle, along with other items.  They augmented their evening meal with clams found in the lagoon, along with birds, turtles, etc, accounting for at least one of the camp/fire sites.  Having drunk the Benedictine bottle, they leave it behind.  They inadvertently leave the Sextant box. 

They fail to see/smell the prior camp/fire sites left by AE and the corpse/bones, easily enough explained by poor visibility through the bush and the survey was focused primarily on the lagoon and ocean shoreline, vice the interior portions of the island. 

What I am proposing is that not all of the items purportedly ascribed to AE at the 7 site are hers, particularly the Benedictine bottle and the western style of clam openings---these may well be due to the Bushnell survey party.  This situation is the classic archeological problem of just a listing of items found without proper context and location information. 

Just throwing this out for discussion.

 27 
 on: November 28, 2018, 12:31:40 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Bill Mangus
given the way he speaks about the inverting eye piece it makes me think that was found before he got involved in the bones. that he, Gallagher never touched it. i would put forth that the box and the inverting eye piece were likely found at the same time.

If this reasoning is correct, some time not earlier than November 1937 and not later than April 1940, somebody left a Bushnell sextant box, and part of an inverting eyepiece, near the castaway's remains.  If the inverting eyepiece was still secured in the box when the April work party was there, the "finder" may have ripped out the custom-made features that secured it in place (thus explaining the presence of the "gidgies").


Sounds reasonable and I'll add:

Shortly after ripping out the gidgies and throwing away the eyepiece, a skull was found.  The workers depart quickly, leaving behind the sextant box.

This means the eyepiece is still around there somewhere.




 28 
 on: November 28, 2018, 12:10:20 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
This is interesting.  The map below is a screenshot of a GIS of all the archaeological work at the Seven Site.  I've posted out where the castaway's skeleton was found (as confirmed by the dogs in 2017) and the hole where the skull was buried.  As you can see, the "gidgies" were found not far from the skull hole, suggesting that the sextant box might have also been in that area.  It's about 20 meters and slightly downhill from the skeleton to the skull hole.

 29 
 on: November 28, 2018, 11:23:20 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
given the way he speaks about the inverting eye piece it makes me think that was found before he got involved in the bones. that he, Gallagher never touched it. i would put forth that the box and the inverting eye piece were likely found at the same time.

Maybe, maybe not, but it's looking more like the box was not brought there by the laborers.

The "part of an inverting eyepiece" is the key.  I agree that Gallagher never saw it. The "finder" had to be one of the laborers.  If Gallagher had laborers helping him with his searches, it's hard to imagine the finder finding something, throwing it away, and then telling Gallagher what he did. The part of an inverting eyepiece almost had to have been found the only time the laborers were there without Gallagher - in April when the skull and bottle were found.  In September, Gallagher quizzes the laborers who found skull. They tell him that Koata found a bottle and took it with him to Tarawa, and one of them says he found a thing that he threw away.  He describes the thing to Gallagher who decides it was part of an inverting eyepiece.
If the part of an inverting eyepiece was there in April, so was the box whether the work party saw it or not.

If this reasoning is correct, some time not earlier than November 1937 and not later than April 1940, somebody left a Bushnell sextant box, and part of an inverting eyepiece, near the castaway's remains.  If the inverting eyepiece was still secured in the box when the April work party was there, the "finder" may have ripped out the custom-made features that secured it in place (thus explaining the presence of the "gidgies").

I'll dig out exactly where the "gidgies" were found.

 30 
 on: November 28, 2018, 10:29:28 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Kevin Weeks

Because he said he found it during his "thorough search" and, unlike the bottle (as you have pointed out) he never said he didn't.  In the absence of contradicting documentation we have to take him at his word.

given the way he speaks about the inverting eye piece it makes me think that was found before he got involved in the bones. that he, Gallagher never touched it. i would put forth that the box and the inverting eye piece were likely found at the same time.

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